things i learned on the abs diet

up until last august i’d been trying to lose weight for as long as i can remember.  i remember in middle school running on the treadmill in my parent’s bedroom at 6:00 in the morning while my dad was still sleeping. i spent most of college wanting to lose weight–going to the gym multiple days a week, trying (loosely and without guidance) weight watchers.  i thought about and talked about my weight a lot, to mike, to my mom, and to friends until one day last year i decided “if this is my body, this is my body.”

this cookbook is filled with great recipes. see photos below.

then two weeks later mike says “i found this diet in men’s health called the abs diet. you can sign up online for pretty cheap.  i think i’m going to do it.”  i panic, thinking “what?? i just came to terms with my body and am learning to accept it and appreciate it for what it is, i can’t go on a diet/don’t want to be on a diet and concentrate on every single thing i eat.  but if mike’s on a diet, we’re both on a diet.”  i had serious anxiety about this.  after talking to a friend at work, i decided to embrace it and go for it.  what did i have to lose?  weight?  ok.

lime-grilled turkey tacos with avocado salsa

so mike and i started the abs diet.  he signed up online and had access to a ton of recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. he took care of all the meal planning and grocery shopping (i know, a dream, right?) and we started to eat better.  before i knew it mike was saying “next week will be one month on the abs diet. can you believe it?” “really? wow, no i can’t. i don’t feel deprived or hungry. this is great.”

i didn’t feel deprived or hungry because the abs diet doesn’t set out to starve you.  in fact, it’s almost the opposite.

pillars of the abs diet:

  • fill up on powerfoods (whole grains, lean meats, low fat dairy, fruits, vegetables)
  • eat 5 small meals throughout the day
  • it’s about how you eat most of the time not all of the time (don’t deprive yourself)

"thinner mexican dinner:" lean ground beef, romaine, tomatoes, black beans, low fat cheddar, baked tortilla chips (though these are def. fried)

how i’ve changed as a result of the abs diet:

  • i choose foods that fill me up and give me fuel
  • i have a new awareness about how foods make me feel (energized, full, tired, groggy) and make food decisions based on that
  • i’m not tired all the time
  • i know when i’m full and stop when i get there (before, the abs diet i had two settings: hungry or completely stuffed)
  • i eat five times a day and make sure there is protein or fiber each time to fill me up
  • i don’t obsess about my weight or what i eat
  • i rarely find myself saying “ugh, i ate too much” or “i want to lose weight”
  • i’m able to listen to my body and give my body what it needs. if i’m really craving chocolate or salt, i have that. one time at lunch, i was really craving red meat so i chose a meal with steak in it.
  • i’ve lost 5-7 pounds and maintained my weight 

whole wheat waffles with peanut butter and raspberries

*the meals above come from the new abs diet cookbook

**i should note that i was not compensated in any way for this post.  i just really enjoy the abs diet and want to share what i’ve learned from it.